Clinton’s Emails

Ex-First Lady, one-time Senator, and woman who once sat in the Secretary of State’s chair had a press conference.

QUESTION: How could the public be assured that when you deleted emails that were personal in nature, that you didn’t also delete emails that were professional, but possibly unflattering?

And what do you think about this Republican idea of having an independent third party come in and examine your emails?

CLINTON: Well first of all, you have to ask that question to every single federal employee, because the way the system works, the federal employee, the individual, whether they have one device, two devices, three devices, how many addresses, they make the decision.

So, even if you have a work-related device with a work-related .gov account, you choose what goes on that.

In the first place, Madam, no, we don’t have to ask every single federal employee; we are, though, asking you. In the second place, even if every single federal employee made that error of judgment, it wouldn’t excuse yours. I notice, too, that you didn’t answer the question about how the public can be sure you didn’t also delete….

Nor is it lost on any of us that you ignored the second part of that question, too. Should we conclude, then, that you don’t want an independent evaluation?

Then there’s the apparent evidence tampering and the apparent violation of the Federal Records Act:

QUESTION: Did you or any of your aides delete any government-related emails from your personal account? And what lengths are you willing to go to to prove that you didn’t?

Some people, including supporters of yours, have suggested having an independent arbiter look at your server, for instance.

CLINTON: … I have no doubt that we have done exactly what we should have done. When the search was conducted, we were asking that any email be identified and preserved that could potentially be federal records, and that’s exactly what we did.

[T]he process produced over 30,000 you know, work emails, and I think that we have more than met the requests from the State Department. The server contains personal communications from my husband and me, and I believe I have met all of my responsibilities and the server will remain private….

It’s a much longer-winded obfuscatory answer; I’ve excerpted here. But notice: she never did get around to answering the question of deletion and how anyone would know. She did, though, say that the server she used to conduct government business will remain private, and she was clear that she and her people were the ones who determined the work relevance of what she kept and what she deleted. She also continued to elide the question of an independent evaluator’s judgment.

Finally, a small aside: 30,000 work emails works out to about 20 emails per day over her four-year tour—an unbelievably small amount of email traffic for a SecState.

Keep this in mind during the Primary Season, and if she passes through it, in the fall of 2016.

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